Dark Spots on Skin: Causes, Symptoms & Remedies

Dark Spots on Skin Causes, Symptoms & Remedies

Are those stubborn dark spots on your skin driving you crazy? Don't worry, you're not alone. Dark spots, also known as hyperpigmentation, can be a common skin concern for many people. Whether they're caused by sun exposure, hormonal changes, acne scars, or ageing, these pesky spots can affect our self-confidence and make us feel self-conscious. But fear not! In this blog, we'll dive into the causes, symptoms, and effective remedies to help you bid farewell to those unwelcome blemishes. Get ready to uncover the secrets to achieving a radiant, flawless complexion that will have you beaming with confidence!

Dark Spots on Face

Dark spots on the face, also known as hyperpigmentation, are areas of increased pigmentation that appear as flat, discoloured patches on the skin. They can vary in colour, ranging from light brown to dark brown or black. These spots can be caused by a variety of factors, including prolonged sun exposure, hormonal changes, ageing, acne scars, and skin inflammation.

Who can get Dark Spots on their Skin?

Sun exposure: 

Anyone who spends time in the sun without proper protection, such as sunscreen or protective clothing, is at risk of developing dark spots.

Hormonal changes: 

Both women and men can experience hormonal fluctuations that contribute to the formation of dark spots. Pregnancy, menopause, and certain medications can trigger these changes.


As individuals age, their skin undergoes natural changes that can lead to the appearance of dark spots.

Acne sufferers: 

People who have had acne may experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, resulting in dark spots after the blemishes heal.

Genetic predisposition: 

Some individuals may be genetically more prone to developing dark spots due to their skin's melanin production and distribution.

Skin inflammation: 

Conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or skin injuries can cause inflammation, leading to dark spots as a result of increased melanin production.

Symptoms of Dark Spots

  • Flat, discoloured patches on the skin.
  • Patches ranging in colour from light brown to dark brown or black.
  • Spots that are typically painless and not raised or textured.
  • Dark spots that may be more noticeable on areas of the face, hands, arms, or other sun-exposed areas.
  • Possible association with sun exposure, hormonal changes, ageing, acne scars, or skin inflammation.

Causes of Dark Spots

Dark spots, also known as hyperpigmentation, can be caused by a variety of factors. Sun exposure is a primary cause, as the ultraviolet (UV) rays stimulate the production of melanin, resulting in dark patches on the skin. Hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy or with the use of certain medications, can lead to melasma, characterised by dark spots on the face. Aging also contributes to dark spots, as the skin's natural repair processes slow down. Acne scars can leave behind persistent dark spots called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Inflammation in the skin, whether from conditions like eczema or psoriasis, can trigger melanin overproduction, leading to dark spots.

How to Get Rid of Dark Spots on Face?

Sun protection: 

Wear sunscreen with a high SPF daily, seek shade, and use protective clothing to prevent further darkening of spots.

Topical treatments: 

Use creams or serums containing ingredients like hydroquinone, retinoids, kojic acid, vitamin C, or niacinamide to fade dark spots over time.

Chemical peels: 

Professional treatments use chemical solutions to exfoliate the skin and improve the appearance of dark spots.


A procedure that gently exfoliates the skin to reduce the appearance of dark spots and improve skin texture.

Laser therapy: 

High-intensity laser beams target dark spots, breaking up the pigmented cells and promoting new, healthier skin growth.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy: 

Uses light energy to target and break up pigmented cells, reducing the appearance of dark spots.

Natural remedies: 

Some natural ingredients like lemon juice, aloe vera, or liquorice extract may help lighten dark spots, but results may vary.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is a popular and effective method for addressing dark spots on the face. It utilises focused beams of high-intensity light to target and break up the excess melanin responsible for the discolouration. The laser energy penetrates the skin's surface, selectively targeting the dark spots while leaving the surrounding skin unharmed.

During the treatment, the laser's energy is absorbed by the melanin, causing it to fragment into smaller particles. Over time, the body's natural processes help eliminate these fragmented pigmented cells, leading to a reduction in the appearance of dark spots.

How can I Prevent Dark Spots on my Skin?

  • Wear sunscreen with a high SPF daily and reapply regularly.
  • Limit your sun exposure, especially during peak hours.
  • Use gentle skincare products and avoid harsh exfoliation.
  • Treat acne promptly to prevent post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Manage hormonal changes with professional guidance.
  • Stay hydrated and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
  • Follow a regular skincare routine with cleansing, moisturising, and protection.

Take Away

Don't let dark spots dim your confidence. Understanding their causes and symptoms is the first step towards achieving a flawless complexion. With sun protection, topical treatments, and professional procedures like laser therapy, you can fade those spots away. Stay consistent, be patient, and seek professional guidance. Embrace a spot-free face and unleash your confidence.


Q: What conditions have dark spots on the skin?

A: Various conditions can lead to dark spots on the skin, including sun damage, melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and age spots.

Q: What is the fastest treatment for dark spots?

A: The fastest treatment for dark spots may vary depending on individual factors. However, some treatments that can show relatively quick results include chemical peels, laser therapy, and intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments. It's important to consult with a dermatologist to determine the most suitable and effective treatment for your specific situation.

Q: What do liver spots look like?

A: Liver spots, also known as age spots or solar lentigines, are small, flat, and dark patches that typically appear on areas of the skin that have been exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, shoulders, and arms. 


Dark spots on the skin: Causes and how to treat them, By MaryAnn De Pietro, on March 29, 2019

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